A pair of 19th century Chukchi mammoth tusk snow goggles are offered at Sotheby’s.
They’re among a fascinating selection of pieces chosen for the Curiosity III sale in Hong Kong on April 4 and carry an estimate of $15,500-23,200.
These glasses were designed to protect from snow blindness
The Chukchi are reindeer herders native to the harsh climate of north-eastern Siberia.
As the region is primarily treeless, bone and antler serve as the main raw materials for constructing tools.
Mammoth bones are unusual finds and it’s safe to assume they would be very highly prized. These goggles were most likely made for a high-status individual.
They’re designed to keep eyes protected from snow blindness.
A piece of Nkutu currency, or Oshele, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is valued at $9,100-11,600.
The lot measures just over 22 inches in height and doubles as both a piece of currency and a throwing knife.
It’s constructed from iron, while the handle is bound with snakeskin.
Such knives were celebrated in the cultures of a number of different tribes within the region and the best examples were used to facilitate trade.
They are still very much in demand today.
Another (slightly larger) example achieved $28,125 at Sotheby’s in 2013.
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